Donald Trump remains ahead of the Florida governor, whose presidential candidacy has failed to catch fire.
Donald Trump Makes a Big Call
For a time after the midterm elections in 2022, it actually looked like Donald Trump might be finished. Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had been widely expected to run for president, won a landslide reelection in Florida, while numerous candidates backed by Trump lost. DeSantis also appeared to be building a dominant fundraising juggernaut. Even Fox News, for a time, was reluctant to book Trump on its shows, amid reports that Rupert Murdoch was ready to move on from the former president.
However, once the calendar flipped to 2023, things changed. DeSantis very much failed to catch fire as a candidate, and it soon became clear that Trump’s hold on the conservative base was more robust than some had thought.
Virtually every poll taken this year has shown that Trump is far ahead of the rest of the GOP field, with DeSantis nearly always in a very distant second place.
Now, Trump has predicted that his opponent will drop out of the race soon.
“Ron DeSanctimonious has the Poll numbers of a wounded bird falling from the sky,” the former president said on Truth Social Tuesday. “I am up on him by 57 points, and going higher. He has proven to be a terrible and inept candidate who even fought Social Security and Medicare. He will SOON be out of money and dropping out of the race for President. After having single-handedly gotten him elected Governor, with no thanks or glory, it has been a beautiful thing to watch. Good luck Ron!”
It’s not clear what poll Trump is citing that has him ahead of DeSantis by “57 points.” The most recent Morning Consult poll, released Tuesday, has Trump with 61 percent support and DeSantis with 12 percent. That’s a bigger lead than Trump has had for most of the year — and a record high, Morning Consult says — but it’s a lead of 49 percent, not 57.
“DeSantis trails Trump by 49 percentage points following a week in which he reached a record 51-point deficit against the front-runner,” Morning Consult said of the race. “The Florida governor also returned to a record low in support, at 12%. This gives him only a 3-point lead over Vivek Ramaswamy, whom roughly 1 in 5 potential primary voters say is their second choice.”
That poll also shows Vivek Ramaswamy at 9 percent, Nikki Haley at 6 percent, Mike Pence at 5 percent, Chris Christie at 3 percent, Tim Scott at 2 percent and Doug Burgum at 1 percent. Asa Hutchinson and Will Hurd are each listed at zero percent; Hurd announced Tuesday that he’s dropping out of the race and endorsing Haley.
There is, however, no indication that DeSantis is preparing to exit the race. But that isn’t to say that he’s not in trouble. According to CNN, some are questioning DeSantis’ “Iowa-first” strategy, which recently had him visiting the early primary state of South Carolina for the first time in three months.
“Meanwhile, DeSantis has seen his support fall in New Hampshire, home to the nation’s first primary, and another state the Florida governor has put on the backburner as he works to shore up support in Iowa. His last visit to the Granite State was more than a month ago, and New Hampshire voters have responded by considering other alternatives to Trump,” the CNN story said.
DeSantis is not out of money, which is typically the reason that candidates abandon presidential races. In fact, per the New York Times, his campaign recently received a $15 million cash infusion from third-quarter fundraising and has subsequently staffed up significantly in Iowa.
“We are redeploying many of our assets so we can further take the fight directly to Donald Trump in Iowa,” David Polyansky, Mr. DeSantis’s deputy campaign manager, told the Times.
Author Expertise and Experience:
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) at @StephenSilver, and subscribe to his Substack newsletter.